The afternoon show of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia on Wedndesday was Raffles, the College of Design and Commerce, at The Runway. This was the show of 6 students; Gabriel Lee, Nara Sangngern (NARA), Aurelia Santoso, Diyana Kosso, Virginia Killroy Liu (XU's) and Ayaka Ichikawa (Aquintic). Overall, the show was satisfactory and I generally enjoyed the pieces of Gabriel Lee and Aquintic. The rest were not as strong and I didn't feel that they were suitable for Spring/Summer. They were more or less like the students' artworks and pieces that they worked on.
One problem I had with the show was the boring finales which were just repetitions of each other. There was no variety (unlike the ending in The New Generation) and it felt a bit lazy I guess. Perhaps they were trying to make the show into a cohesive piece because none of the designers had similar pieces or themes. However, I don't think this is really necessary in a composite show. Sadly, there was also not much interest from the audience with the show not filling up and certain crowds leaving once their friend's pieces have been shown off.
The show opened with Gabriel Lee and because I knew very little about all the Raffles designers, I didn't know what to expect. Gabriel Lee's designs for this season were very chic and pretty. The cuttings were smart with some short skirts and dresses to enhance the summer feel. Also, monochrome seems to be very strong this season. Gabriel Lee's print is also very chic and clean. On top of the black and white looks, the other pieces on the models were amazing to give off the blooming spring atmosphere. This contrasts well with the monochrome and gives a huge punch to the overall look. The flower headpiece was great!
I enjoyed watching and looking at NARA's pieces. Every time another model was about to come out I was just wondering how she is going to look. At first I felt that the silver fabric thing was quite dated but it worked pretty well with the pink. It was also going for a chic feel but with an artistic twist. However, it doesn't seem as wearable as Lee, Kosso and Ichikawa's pieces. I'm not sure if the younger demographic would like this line that much and it also doesn't give off an SS feel. It was smart to use that shade of pink with silver but I'm not sure if it is good for this particular season at this time. Overall, I enjoyed looking at and was interested in NARA's pieces but I didn't like them as much as I wanted to.
The better ones:
Unfortunately I did not enjoy the looks in this line. I called it the White Vampires (as you will see later, XU's is the Black Vampires) and I can't see what is SS about it at all. The pieces, I guess, I can take apart individually and perhaps I can find clever pieces but the overall looks were not modern and not retro and not classical, but boring. The use of shapes in the pieces and the detailed jewels of the pieces didn't feel appropriate and it made the line somewhat tacky.
I tried to pick out some outfits I liked but I couldn't, so here's what I didn't like:
I guess the reasons why I enjoyed this line was for its wearability. Once again I stress that the strengths of Australian fashion lies in ready-to-wear. Everything was just kind of white and sheer which I think was okay but I preferred Alice McCall's pieces of a similar colour over these. Most of the pieces had flowy bits which I didn't enjoy as much because I didn't feel that they were that clever. I enjoyed the tigher fitting pieces for this line. Nor did I enjoy the asymmetrical pieces over the symmetrical ones.
Some of the better ones:
The Black Vampire pieces. The whole thing felt like an outdated FW line which boasted some boldness with dark and rich colours. Once again, if I take the pieces apart I might find something I enjoy but the looks were just too strong (in a bad way). Perhaps both Santoso and Liu were going for something artistic or even high fashion but they were not hitting the notes at all and they felt like weak attempts to strive for them. The giant red flowers look too familiar and overused for me to enjoy. The music was almost 5 minutes of screaming.
Let's take the pieces apart and note, I only marginally accept these: (1) Inside dress without the carpet draped over it. (2) The leggings. (3) The cutting of the dress and collar area.
The show ended with Aquintic which I kind of enjoyed but at this point I was just bored with all the designs and especially with the finales which involved the same positioning of the models. Aquintic got my attention again with some of the more clever and sharp cuttings of the pieces. The materials were also crisp to give an edgy feel. However, it didn't feel SS again and it was a shame. Some pieces felt a bit dated and overdone but I enjoyed it as the final line of the show.
I like the round circly things, they were quite discrete and clever.
What a long ass post.